Every Tuesday night, from 8:00PM to be precise, the twitosphere lights up with CAS members sharing their expertise and practical advice under the guidance of the wonderful Simon Johnson (@clcsimon). Each week there is a different topic as listed in this #CASChat resource, you can add your own there, and a series of questions about that topic are posed.
What follows is a hectic hour of terrific advice shared from other CAS members about how they approach that topic in their classrooms plus some lighthearted chat but all aimed at educating, engaging and encouraging one another - that’s CAS!
Last night it was the 50th #CASChat so a time to reflect on why it has become so important for many of us. The summary has been posted here but I thought it worth sharing just a small sample of the tweets to encourage others to log in on a Tuesday night.
Q1. Looking back, what have been you highlights from participating in #caschat?
- my confidence has grown enormously, thanks to everyone at #caschat for their encouragement, reassurance and generosity
- All the ideas! Great to know what you are doing is similar to others!
- ‘meeting’ lots of CS related people and the positivity of it
- Such a welcoming community, always a new idea to be gained or support being offered
- getting to meet a group of amazing educators who were willing to share their knowledge and experience with me.
Q2: As a result of taking part in #caschat, what do you know now that you wish you knew when you started teaching computing?
- to be confident to ask any question for help and not try to solve it all by yourself!
- Not always rushing in and programming, using unplugged activities first
- There is no ‘right’ answer to a perfect curriculum and no ‘one way’ on how to teach it
- The size of the network of support available! Struggled through my first few years as subject leader, all alone!
- just have a go, let the students explore and don’t fear that they will know more - that there aren’t mistakes, only experience
Q3: What are you doing differently now as a result of taking part in #caschat ?
- More unplugged, reviewed Long term plan, less programming languages at primary.
- Change to approach to subject: plus more ‘risk’ in KS3..
- So many things. More use of physical computing, reviewed my assessment practices, giving input at more events.
- Use lots of short programs to allow pupils to apply understanding in various ways. Focus on pedagogy not the technology
- Differentiating practical projects loads better and challenging kids lots more - much higher expectations.
Q4: What are your top tips for getting the most out of #caschat ?
- Don’t be afraid to take part! Bring a friend along!
- Engage. Question. Adapt! Ask!
- Jump in and challenge yourself. It’s scary but it makes you focus and polish your practice for public consumption.
- Host it and set your own questions to the community.
- if I have nagging questions/requests I write them down when Simon tweets the topic beforehand - I’d forget otherwise
Q5: What is one thing about #caschat you would share to encourage others to take part?
- The ideas and sharing - lots of one person depts out there treading water. You aren’t alone.
- That collaboration like this is hands down the best CPD you can get
- lots of good ideas with helpful people; not intimidating but relaxed
- he vast array of ideas that you will leave with. My tabs are always overflowing afterwards….
- I think leading computing is one of the toughest asks in the primary school when I meet subject leaders I explain that #caschat can help
- It amazes me how many teachers say “Oh No not Twitter I am too busy for that”, too busy for the best CPD you are ever going to get?
And so much more!
Special thanks to Simon Johnson for organising us each week, and to those who turn up and share in such a wonderful way. Do join us!